The 2023 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 22, as both rounds are wrapped up in one night. As it approaches, TGH will be taking a quick look some teams’ draft strategies, and shedding some light on what direction they will go with their picks.. Here is the Portland Trail Blazers NBA Draft profile for 2023.
The Blazers finished 2022-2023 with a 33-49 record. They ended up fifth in the division and 13th out of 15 in the Western Conference. This was their second consecutive year missing the postseason, and also their second straight year under the leadership of former NBA star Chauncey Billups.
2023 Draft Picks
The Trail Blazers have three picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.
First Round (two picks):
- Pick #3
- Pick #23
Second Round (one pick):
- Pick #43
- Second star for Damian Lillard
- Overall direction for the future
Pick #3: Brandon Miller, SF, Alabama
Sorry to state the obvious right off of the bat, but this is the highest pick in the NBA Draft this year that is subject to real trade speculation. This is going to play a huge role in dictating how the Blazers’ draft and next season plays out. Portland could trade this pick to support Lillard with another star right away, get some hopeful win-now help with an NBA ready prospect, or package it with Lillard for an absolutely massive haul. That last one is obviously a bit far-fetched, but why not mention it. Either way, this profile will assume the Blazers keep the pick.
Brandon Miller is probably the pick here. He’s ready both offensively and defensively, and likes to make highlight-level plays which will help him on the big stage. Miller is a true “young guy” in that he has some strengthening to do, and there some obvious character issues that won’t be discussed here. But he looks like a guy who can be a really polished piece (if not star) with some quickness.
Pick #23: Jett Howard, F, Michigan
The Trail Blazers could double down on offensive production from the forward spot here, maybe with some decent upside.
Howard is the son of Juwan Howard, of “Fab 5” fame. He’s been raised in and around basketball and won’t be afraid of the NBA stage. He’s a great catch-and-shoot guy, with some serious playmaking ability, if the need arises. There’s some work to do defensively, like most prospects, but this guy could give the Blazers some serious scoring depth right away.
Pick #43: Terquavion Smith, G, NC State
Now it’s time for some defense.
Smith is an already polished off-ball defender that sort of needs to pick whether he’s going to be a passer or scorer right away in the NBA, not that he couldn’t become both over time. But with Portland going offense with the first two picks, it makes sense to grab a scheme-friendly guard who can prevent catch-and-shoot opportunities for the opponent.
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